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L-9 shown here setting up to be towed to Ponta Delgada, Azores so that she could enter the war zone off Europe. December 4, 1917. The fleet tug USS Lykens (Fleet Tug No. 56) is likely nearby as the towing vessel. Her towing line would part three days later and L-9, battered by heavy seas, would be forced to return to Boston, arriving on December 13. After repairs and reconditioning, she finally joined her sister boats in Ireland on February 21, 1918 and promptly began running anti U-boat patrols.

Photo in the private collection of Ric Hedman.

L-9 moored alongside sister boat L-3 (Submarine No. 42). Note that L-9's chariot bridge fairwater is far smaller than L-3's. The reason for this is not known. The bridge watchstanders on L-9 must have been quite uncomfortable in anything other than a flat calm. The fairwater would later be rebuilt and expanded. Details of L-9's retracted 3"/23 caliber Mk 9 gun can be seen. The smaller cylinder in front of the barrel is the recoil damper. An enterprising sailor has hung laundry from L-3's periscope shears brace.

U.S. Navy photo.

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